May 152018

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After last night’s statewide vote tally Kate Brown waaaay bested her democratic primary rivals so now she will face Central Oregon Representative Knute Buehler for the top state government job in November. Buehler is a Bend area doctor who is a republican but often presents himself in ways that are normally typical of democratic candidates. He’s an interesting hybrid.

Lincoln County State Representative David Gomberg (D-Otis) coasted unchallenged to the November election as did his republican challenger Thomas Donohue. Both will face off in November.

Lincoln City attorney Russell Baldwin fell to incumbent 17th District Circuit Court Judge Thomas O. Bradford – by a fairly wide margin.

In the Lincoln County Commission races, commissioner position 3 was won by long time Newport resident and ecological academic Kaety Jacobson. She bested incumbent commissioner Terry Thompson by a sizeable margin. Thompson says Ms. Jacobson will be a very effective and forward looking commissioner. Thompson says he’ll still be helping to establish a wave energy testing “farm” off Newport. He says he would also like to to return to lobbying the state legislature on critically important issues affecting the Oregon Coast, not the least of which is the effects of global warming but also ocean acidification and how it affects the fishing industry.

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In response Ms. Jacobson said Thompson has been a distinguished and extremely hardworking servant for Lincoln County – a tireless supporter of Hatfield Marine Science Center and all manner and fashion of fisheries and alternative energy research. Jacobson says, coming from a fishing family herself, she’ll be paying close attention to not only the coast’s natural resources but how climate change and other variables are likely to affect the fishing industry. She said she’s keenly interested in ensuring that people in Lincoln County with mental health problems or drug issues can get the help they need. She said she would like to see the county conduct more public outreach to those in need and get them the help they deserve as human beings.

In the other county commissioner race, incumbent Doug Hunt came in first but failed to garner at least half the vote, so he’ll face Lincoln County Emergency Management chief Jenny Demaris this November who came in second in a four candidate field. Hunt said he, like Ms. Demaris, wants greater outreach to citizens suffering mental health and substance abuse issues. He said a lack of sufficient outreach by the health department likely caused inadequate numbers of patients which forced the laying off of a number of mental health counselors. Hunt said he would also like to see the county get more serious about affordable housing, a problem that is critical for the continued economic growth of the county.

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The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office came up quite a bit short on their attempt to raise taxes to pay for enhanced mental health services in the jail and especially outside of jail. Sheriff Curtis Landers said he wanted to avoid having to build an expensive new jail or likewise an expensive expansion of the old one, rather than continually having to release inmates early due to crowding. He also wanted to fill an overnight gap in regular sheriff’s deputy patrols. But the voters voted 56% No. No doubt push will be coming to shove on this issue in the very near future.

A measure to boost taxes to make improvements to the Port of Alsea’s launch and marina facilities passed by a healthy margin. The port is a very important tourism economy driver in the Waldport area.

North Lincoln Fire and Rescue squeeked out a “yes” majority vote for a tax increase for upgrading fire department equipment including trucks and firefighter gear. There were fire department building upgrades included in the measure as well.

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Both Yachats and Seal Rock Fire Departments were given the green light by voters to maintain a tax rate that would keep their departments fully equipped to provide fire and rescue services to their communities. Yachats continues to examine the possibility of raising funds for a brand new fire station located high on a hill at the north end of town that would be up and out of the tsunami zone. Their current fire department sits right in the tsunami inundation zone. Not good.

But the news from Toledo Tuesday night was negative as the Toledo Fire District voters turned down a tax override for improvements that would enhance fire response throughout their district.

The official final vote tally will be made June 1st after all the ballots come into the courthouse for counting, as long as they’re all postmarked on or before May 15th.

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